The best food pairings with the Bellini cocktail: Venetian Cicchetti

The celebratory soul of the Bellini cocktail is the ideal companion for sharing moments of refined revelry such as an aperitif, but also adds a touch of sophistication to a light lunch. The Bellini cocktail is best paired with savory foods that balance the sweetness of peaches and the verve of Prosecco, like Venetian Cicchetti.


The most traditional food pairings with the peach Bellini include a variety of simple snacks, but when you are longing for magic atmosphere of the Venetian streets where this cocktail was born, the perfect pairing is undoubtedly Venetian Cicchetti.

Venetian Cicchetti: the origins

Cicchetti are a culinary tradition that can be tasted in bars, taverns, and above all in the so-called Venetian “bacari”, small bistro-style bars that display these savory snacks in their windows to tempt the passersby.

The name cicchetti can be traced back to the French word “chiquet”, a derivative of “chiqueter”, which means “to chop“. An even deeper historical connection can be found in the Latin term “ciccus”, that is, “small quantities”. In the realm of Venetian culinary traditions, the term cicchetti means small single-portion samples of fish or salami, generally served on slices of bread or polenta. Today these perfect companions to the classic Venetian aperitif represent a modern reinterpretation of the traditional flavors of Venice.

Venetian Cicchetti: the best five combinations with the Bellini

At Harry’s Bar, cicchetti have always been served with the Bellini. Discover the top 5 cicchetti recommended by Cipriani Drinks to be enjoyed with this cocktail for a moment of refined revelry.

Cicchetto with “Baccalà mantecato” - Creamed cod

This Cicchetto is truly synonymous with Venice itself. It is precisely in the lagoon city where a fish with unrefined origins was transformed into a sublime dish. According to the original recipe, only dried Norwegian cod should be used, and it is to be seasoned with only extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. If desired, it is possible to add milk during the creaming process to make the mixture softer.

The creamy and delicate cod is perfect served on a slice of fresh bread and balances the sweetness of the original Bellini cocktail.

Cicchetto with “Sarde in saor” - Marinated sardines

Marinated sardines are a historical culinary ritual for Venetians and are typically consumed during the Redentore celebration. The mastery of Venetian chefs has reinvented this modest ingredient, deriving from the simple traditions of the “cucina povera”, or poor cuisine, by combining it with local onions, dried sultana grapes, pine nuts, and vinegar.

Sarde in Saor”, whose name is expressed in Venetian dialect (“saor” means “sour flavor”), are simply a flavor that cannot be overlooked when it comes to Venetian Cicchetti.

Cicchetto with Cantabrian anchovies

Those who love intense flavors, particularly when counterbalanced by the sweetness of the Bellini, will love the cicchetto with plump anchovies from the Cantabrian Sea. This area of the Basque coast in northern Spain is renowned for its flavorful anchovies. The decisive taste of the anchovies is artfully softened by the presence of creamy butter.

Cicchetto with smoked salmon

A great classic of aperitif snacks, the salmon cicchetto presents a harmonious balance of intense smoky flavor and herbal freshness. This delectable bite-sized snack has only two ingredients and is a sublime pairing with the peach Bellini.

Cicchetto with “soppressa”

Last, but not least, another great classic of Venetian cuisine: soppressa. This soft salami can be accompanied by sliced cherry tomatoes for a salty, yet fresh, combination that creates an intriguing contrast with the Bellini’s delicate sweetness.

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